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AT&T 5G Tests 14 Times Faster Than 4G LTE

5G

AT&T says 5G may exponentially increase the speed of its mobile network to 14 Gigabits per second (Gbps).

The telecommunications giant on Wednesday unveiled results of several trials it is conducting to test the new technology and build on its current 4G LTE network.

AT&T's John DonovanAT&T insists that 4G LTE, which may reach “theoretical speeds” of up to 1 Gbps in 2017, is the foundation for 5G.

“Our 5G Evolution plans will pave the way to the next-generation of higher speeds for customers. We’re not waiting until the final standards are set to lay the foundation for our evolution to 5G. We’re executing now,” said John Donovan, chief strategy officer and president of technology and operations for AT&T.

Channel executives from the company said the speed and latency of 5G will enable its solution providers to be more effective.

“When solution providers embrace the rapid speed of change and begin to think about the possibilities enabled by this new landscape, they have the ability to influence what’s next and use mobility to open new doors for them and their business customers,” said Kevin Leonard, vice president of AT&T Alternate Channels.

Sue Galvanek, vice president of marketing, pricing and product solutions for AT&T Partner Exchange, said mobile connectivity is “fueling the next wave of channel growth.”

“5G promises to take people places they’ve never been by unlocking new experiences,” she said. “We remain committed to launching the products and tools that will help our solution providers take advantage of future opportunities as 5G Evolution plans unfold.” 

Donovan said the volume of data on company’s mobile network has increased by 250,000 percent since 2007, and that data is primarily video.

“5G’s promise of greater speed and overall network performance brings huge opportunities not only for video but in the Internet of Things, 4K video, augmented and virtual reality, smart home and cities, autonomous vehicles and much more,” he said.{ad}

AT&T said lab tests have created a connection with less than 3 milliseconds of latency, although it says the “industry expectation” for 5G latency will be 5 milliseconds. The company plans to deploy more small-cell sites and carrier aggregation to increase data speeds and “densify” the wireless network in preparation for 5G.

AT&T will launch several trials of the new technology in 2017, including a 5G video trial with DirecTV Now customers in Austin, Texas. It will also partner with Qualcomm and Ericsson for trials with mobile and fixed wireless solutions later in the year.

Robert Boyanovsky, executive director of mobility product management for AT&T, said at last year’s Channel Partners Evolution that partners shouldn’t think of 5G as a complete replacement for 4G LTE, but rather as …

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… a new layer.

“It’s going to layer on top and complement the networks we have today,” he said.

He added that software will drive the new network and allow it to adjust intelligently according to the where the user is.{ad}

“It will literally be a software-defined network, and it will work across all technologies … the network’s going to be smart enough to hand you in and out of various technologies,” Boyanovsky said.

Our own Craig Galbraith detailed how the advanced computing capabilities of the 5G network will enable the vast number of connected devices and data in the Internet of Things.


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